How to "de-oil" a rock?

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How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  Truong on Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:17 pm

I just bought this "Sekkei Ishi", which I really like because it resembles my hometown mountain.

Unfortunately it's oiled.

What to do now?


Truong
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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  chansen on Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:22 am

Truong -

This is the problem with oiled stones... there isn't really a way to un-oil them (as far as I understand). The oil will penetrate the pores of the stone, closing them. This will prevent the stone from holding water on the surface of the stone. When looking through the images that Chris posted of the Meihinten 2011 it appears evident that almost all the stones displayed in suiban were wetted, and water was again applied throughout the show. It was intended to show the stones after wetting, and as they dried. If a stone is oiled, the stone will not allow for this manner of appreciation.

To answer your question... I don't really know. You may try some form of dish washing soap. The Dawn brand here in the US is rather well known for removing oil (used in oil spill cleanups on animals). This may work for you, but I'm not sure. I haven't oiled any stones, so I've never needed to un-oil one either.

Good luck finding a solution. I also greatly enjoy stones that remind me of my home town surroundings. If you find something that works, please share it here. That would be valuable knowledge to have on hand.

Regards,

Christian

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Thanks buddy!

Post  Truong on Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:26 am

I've decided that time and sunshine's the best solution!

After all, the oily glossy surface provides a chance to reflect on the snobbery side of human nature. Very Happy

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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  Jarrod on Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:25 am

Perhaps you could boil them in soapy water, the heat would possibly dissipate the oil somewhat?

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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  Truong on Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:30 pm

Jarrod wrote:Perhaps you could boil them in soapy water, the heat would possibly dissipate the oil somewhat?

Wow!

I actually solved it. I used a toilet cleaner brand called Vim.

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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:00 pm

I advise caution using Vim as some is marketed by them that is abrasive, for removing lime scale. It does also sell some, known here as cream cleaner, that is non abrasive.

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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  Hilton Meyer on Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:40 am

As a cyclist I have come across the problem of needing to remove oil and greese off the chain. If you pop into a local bike shop you might find a citrus degreaser that is pretty natural and may remove the oil. I would think it is better than Vim

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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  trantanhung_nt on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:43 pm


Hello Trường ,
For stone material is Silicate of you , You just put it in a pot wih soapy water , then boil 5 to 15 minute is complete . You do the experiment go ... Thank you .
Sincerely
Hưng - Trần .

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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  Chris Cochrane on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:25 pm

Hi Trong... I'm glad Hung Tran responded since he has clarified oiling stones. Yvonne has noted using hand cream (often these are based on a humectant such as glycerine or collagen and/or an oil). I wonder if Yvonne washes these out only adds more, as necessary. Anyone who washes oil, humectants or even soap & detergent out of stones repeatedly will have some experiences to share. I find even the repeated washing of soap/detergent affects stone translucence, and I see the effects on others' stones.

Do you wish to wash the oil out once, or do you wish to begin the process of aging the stone to create a naturally translucent surface that retains water? Oiling, washing, re-oiling, washing, re-oiling... & so-on (repeatedly) will not be very satisfying and the stone will lose its natural light. Shortcuts that are repeatedly noted (often as "secret methods") simply fail, though many use them sparingly to detail a stone with varying success in appearance.

Ultimately, you have to decide the relationship between you & the stone and the relationship between you and another viewer of the stone. It is very liberating to be completely honest, but not so easy to admit poor decisions. Most of us have a history of mixed success looking for shortcuts.

Water & sun are incredibly effective in affecting stone surfaces. I've had white quartz with large patches of iron (brown staining) cleaned by leaving the stone outdoors over years. It is slow. I could have used a poultice saturated with an iron cleaner to pull the stain from the stone. Perhaps, that would have been a worthwhile shortcut. I would then have to deal with any other result of chemical reactions and staining as the cure & the stain moved through the stone.

I am very pleased to hear of someone looking to remove oil instead of adding it. Your instinctive reaction to remove it by slow weathering (water, wind, sun) was also very good, in my opinion. Soaking in water shouldn't affect a river stone and heating the water sounds reasonable to me to encourage oil release (but limit this to stone material which won't be affected by water/heating & limit the heating to only as required). I hope you have the patience to use weathering, primarily, if VIM or other additives do not work out.

This stone might be too hard & dense for suiban appreciation of slow evaporation. There is a long story to distinguish stones only suitable for daiza mounting as suiseki. Several respected enthusiasts suggest hand rubbing for these.

If you wish to appreciate the stone as a viewing stone or shangshi rather than as suiseki, it is fine to allow any surface including one adding oil... but I hope you'll consider developing a permanently aged surface which only requires dry dusting.

Thanks for sharing your question and drawing such a nice variety of responses.

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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  Guest on Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:11 pm

Hi Chris

Interesting reading, worth reading....but I am not sure, I understand it all, my inglish is not that good.

The handcream I use from time to time, is based on water, no oil..I dont have the declaration anymore, it went out with the box, so I can not give you a better answer.

I dont oil my stones, and I do not wash my stones.

The stones already suiseki, is mainly taken care of, as you described is the best thing to do....but I found the handcream I give, rarely inbetween, gives a little highlight to the collours in the stone....the dust...I have more than I need of this. Smile is being rubbed off inbetween.

I am not really into stones together with water in a suiban...but a poolstone with water in a suiban, with sand as the floor, is very nice....a poolstone in a suiban, can ofcourse not be treated with oil.

My "young stones" is out in the sun and rain....inbetween I give them a little of the handcream, hoping it will "burn" a little into the stone.
I do not give the intire stone handcream, I just have a little on my hands, and rub it in, from the top dawn, not into the caves and holes...only the way rain would fall.....
Maybe this is all wrong, and maybe, I will have to change my mind, and do things diffrent....I would like to hear from other stonelovers what they do.
And also from Chris again ( maybe you will explain more, about me, washing the stones)

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  Chris Cochrane on Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:42 pm

Hi Yvonne... I'm learning and am seldom sure of right or wrong. My experience with oil/wax, detergent/soap & very modest experience with humectants is bleak. I do try to learn & recently spoke with two members trained as chemists in Potomac Viewing Stone Group. One suggested a wetting agent that I've yet to try, but I am not very hopeful. They somewhat dismissed that additives are hard to remove, but you'd need to be very skilled to not risk damage.

Stones which are not treated as landscapes are often appreciated for color-- figure and pattern stones as well as biseki. A method which clearly aids color is hard polishing... and that is a method IBC's most knowledgeable visitor on Chinese Lingbi stones acknowledged for stones that look to have a natural black surface. Oiling works temporarily, but it affects a stone's translucence over time & requires additional oiling to maintain. Sometimes, the washing out of an additive substantively changes a stone's color & light refraction.

Should colorful landscape stones be exposed to weather? I enjoy their beautiful color when watering them, but their dry color is increasingly subdued. In Japan, I see bright as well as subdued stones in exhibitions. Perhaps, Saburo Ei (Mr. Nagase) was right to clarify distinctions among landscape view and other stones. In Mr. Sudo's Keido lessons, I noted subdued landscape-view suiseki in display. Even in display accessories, subdued expression was often emphasized in creating feeling, seasonal allusion or metaphor. Less can be more... though balance often requires object details in direct opposition (therefore, some can be fine &/or gorgeous).

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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  trantanhung_nt on Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:27 pm

Hello CHRIS COCHRANE ,
Hello IBC Forum - Members ,
About this concernment ( Take out Petrolin quit natural stone ) , I have learned in these articles of Mr. Chris and the articles of the other ... And I understand that :
If we had a love of nature in the natural stone , then we need to preserve and cherist all that is " nature " have in
natural stone :
_ 1. We can clean a stone by spraying water with spray nozzle pressure .
_ 2. Should not use OIL or chemicals , with the intention of cleaning or beauty for kicks .
_ 3. We can see stone as more beautyful than , by spraying water onto the surface of the stone before enjoying
Thank you Mr . CHRIS , and thank you all friends .
Sincerely ,
Hưng - Trần .

trantanhung_nt
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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  Truong on Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:07 am

trantanhung_nt wrote:
Hello Trường ,
For stone material is Silicate of you , You just put it in a pot wih soapy water , then boil 5 to 15 minute is complete . You do the experiment go ... Thank you .
Sincerely
Hưng - Trần .

Thanks. I'll try it next time. Much safer.

Truong
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Re: How to "de-oil" a rock?

Post  Chris Cochrane on Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:08 pm

Hi Hung Tran. Hi Trong. I'm glad we can talk about surface treatment for cleaning &/or "enhancing" a stone's surface. You are true stone friends to talk about stones respectfully. I am sure your stones react exactly as you say. In an experiment, collectors should try valueless stones before committing possibly irreversible damage to treasured stones.

I have encouraged folks in the past to use soap or detergent to temporarily wet stones (other than landscape view suiseki, which are appreciated for a non-wetted surface when not watered). I will not recommend it in the future. Stones I have used in the past are now showing signs of losing natural translucence. For some, I could re-wet them with soap/detergent (or another wetting agent), but they will never return to natural stone beauty. For others, the soap/detergent (liquid soap & dishwashing detergent) has caused the color in stones which appeared uniform to diminish & leave a surface more mottled than uniform.

For stones in gongshi-style, it is broadly understood that artificial surface enhancement is common-- including stones with deep history. Modern Chinese enthusiasts often appreciate the natural surface of stones whether in gongshi, shangshi, suiseki or viewing stone style. A natural surface appears the preference for high end collectors internationally, for all forms of viewing stones.

Artificial surfaces are easy to create, they attract the eye for a short period of time & they are common among many vendors of stones. To label these enhanced surfaces as "bazaar-quality" is too demeaning because even very fine stones are sometimes treated in this way & acceptable to most viewers. Chinese stones in collections for many years, including many in international museums have wonderous surfaces that look very natural. We could argue how that is achieved. Only when sincere friends share are we likely to learn. We have to learn the good & the bad. I hope others read the Jack Wong thread on Lingbi stones (from July & August 2009) where he shared great descriptions of surface treatment.

I apologize for touting a practice which worked for me over years. It now looks flawed. Of course, I hope to find that secret technique that allows a lively, translucent & very modestly damp/wet surface to appear natural forever & with no harm to the underlying stone. I am skeptical.

It can take a long time (a year or years) damage by soaping to be clearly seen; in other cases, it occurs relatively quickly (though still weeks or months). It occurs in stones where soap/detergent is left without re-wetting & occurs in stones where soap/detergent is temporarily added & then washed out after every exhibit for which the stone is enhanced. Bright stones of intense and light color (i.e., Yellow wax-style, quartzite rocks & metabasalt with rich caramel color) are susceptible. A stone owned by another IBC contributor was illustrated in an important stone publication last month. It had clear damage of the sort I have experienced with adding soap for temporary display.

Adding oil or a humectant is worse than soaping. Those stones will gain a dark debris-laden stain as well as the additive turning color with age and exposure. There are examples passing through important collections of these-- sadly. Some are kept for their connection to a historically relevant owner or event while most are passed increasing down-the-line from "revered appreciation" to "stained rock requiring re-oiling" appreciation or simply "disposal."

What collector wants a rock without a history that is recognized for a shiny oil sheen covering a brown, oil-stained surface. Such a stone faces a future of more oiling and staining. It is the future facing many of today's viewing stones, internationally. Okay, someone may want them, and they will be easy to collect. I suspect they will represent a brief age when oiling repeatedly was widely acceptable to amateur enthusiasts and vendors. It is age that we should hope ends, soon.

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